Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Now I Know Why I Hate Exercise!

posted by Linda Mintle

I saw this story yesterday in the Wall Street Journal on exercise and I had to write about it. Finally, something that made sense in terms of why I hate to exercise!

Like you, I know the importance of exercise. It has so many benefits–controlling weight and maintaing weight loss, helps prevent strokes, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancers, arthritis and falls. It improves mood and boosts energy and I always feel better AFTER I do it. But can I just say that nothing in me gets excited about exercise. Who has time for it? I only do it because I am a grown up. And grown ups do things that are good for them, even when they don’t enjoy those things.

Advertisement

But too many of us are not forcing ourselves up from the couch. Only 3.5% of 20-59 year olds get the recommended amount of exercise!

And baby boomers, well, we are just embarrassing. 52% of us get NO physical activity. Zero! Zip!

So let’s talk biology and how that influences the lovers and haters, of exercise that is!

Apparently, we all have a physical capacity for exertion. New research is confirming the idea that if you push beyond your exertion range too quickly or too much, you can hate exercise. The biology part has to do with how carbon dioxide and oxygen work together. When the balance isn’t good–excessive carbon dioxide is released–the body gets stressed. And when your body feels stressed, you don’t like it. People have different thresholds. If you have a high threshold for exertion like Olympians must have, you enjoy the exercise better than someone who gets exhausted watering the plants.

Advertisement

Experts suggest that if we don’t exercise, use tricks like listening to music, exercising in nature, watching TV (while exercising of course) etc.  When we go beyond our exertion point, feeling bad happens anyway. This means we have to stick with exercise so we can push our limit. In other words, don’t give up because it doesn’t feel good at the moment.

One other point is this: How you react and interpret a physical workout influences your love for it. For example, if you see yourself sweating and breathing hard and think, “This is good, I am getting fit,” versus “Oh my gosh, what am I doing to myself?” you will probably hate exercise less.

Bottom line:

1) Don’t push yourself too fast–do something you like that doesn’t hurt too much. If you are a couch potato, don’t start exercising by scaling a mountain.

Advertisement

2) Make it fun. Do exercise with others. This sure helps my motivation.

3) Find something you are good at. I think my cheerleading days are over here at mid life. Don’t think I could hit a back handspring these days. But, Pilates, yes, I can manage those moves.

4) Use the tricks–I can only do the treadmill or stair machines if I have a TV and music to distract me. Thank goodness someone thought to attach those to my machines at the Y.

OK grown ups, get off the couch. You know what to do!

 

Source: Wall Street Journal, Personal Journal, Tuesday February 19, 2013. 

Advertisement

Part 2: Christian Mindfulness: Why Buddhism Attracts

posted by Linda Mintle

Mindfulness is popular in our culture. A few years ago, I gave a plenary address to a group of Christian therapists in terms of the differences between the Christian view of mindfulness and eastern religions. The response was so great that I wanted to pass along my comments in a series of 4 blogs. Part one of this series can be found by clicking here, The Christian Practice of Mindfulness.

Because Buddhism is not considered a religion by many, but a philosophy of life, it lends well to psychological discourse. By the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Buddhist modernists promoted a less spiritual but more humanistic form of Buddhism, emphasizing change by way of a familiar Freudian concept–make the unconscious conscious.[1] Despite attempts to naturalize Buddhism, there are those who argue that “theology” is probably at work even when presented as a philosophy.[2] Even so, the integration of Buddhism and mental health is given public discourse in the larger mental health community. This is not so for Christianity.

Advertisement

In many ways, American culture is ripe for Buddhist picking. America’s growing pluralism introduces multiple cultural narratives. The deconstruction of truth brought on by postmodernism allows for truth to be discovered, a major tenet of Buddhist thought. And when truth is relative, there is no sin, allowing people to discover their own path to freedom. One could even argue that some Christians have become more independent in their beliefs, straying from biblical principles and creating faith that suits them.

Our culture is curious about meditation and spirituality, especially practices that are based in experience.[3] Buddhism is experiential, allowing people to feel religious without having to adhere to religious doctrine. Furthermore, forms of Buddhism compliment an American ideal—with enough effort and knowledge, you can be the master of your own destiny.

Advertisement

As our world becomes more violent, Americans are attracted to the peaceful, tolerant and nonviolent qualities they see in Buddhist followers. Most would agree that the encouragement of compassion and patience towards others is desperately needed in our society. Even though Jesus had these same qualities, He is ignored or relegated to a great teacher because He claims to be the only path to salvation.

In the scientific community, brain research has made understanding the science of mental life less mystical. Changes in mental process can be studied and measured, opening up scientific inquiry into states of meditation. And since Buddhist meditation promises outcomes of liberation from suffering and pain, and a way to calm the mind and reduce stress, it lends itself to empirical study and therapeutic value.

Advertisement

Buddhism emphasizes compassion, a life of modesty and restraint and respect for all things living.[4] It accepts all world faiths with an emphasis on nonjudgmental and tolerant thinking. With a spark of the divine in each of us, doctrine is unnecessary as one follows his own path, not constrained by the narrow path that Christianity offers. And most Americans, Christians included, are naïve to the true spiritual underpinnings of eastern religions and deeper forms of meditation. For example, people I talk to usually have no idea that the physical movements in Yoga are based on ancient Hindu worship designed to awaken the serpent power within through the discipline of the physical body.[5]

Advertisement

But the problem for the Christian is that the narrative of Buddhism is very different from Christianity. And that difference in narrative makes a difference. This I will address in Part 3.


[1] Encountering Buddhism:  western psychology and Buddhist teachings Seth Robert Segal editor, pp. 9-31 (2003) State University of New York Press

 

[2] Buddhist theology: Critical reflections by contemporary Buddhist scholars. Edited by Roger Jackson and John Makransky (1999). RoutledgeCurzon

Note: the term theology is used even though there is no belief is God

Advertisement

[3] No other gods: Christian belief in dialogue with Buddhism, Hinduism and islam by Hendrick Vroom Wm. B. Erdsman Publisher (March 1996)

[4] Individualtion and Awakening: Romantic narrative and the psychological interpretation of Buddhism by Richard Payne pp. 31-51 from Buddhism and Psychotherapy Across Cultures: Essays on Therories and Practices by Mark Unno, Editor (2006). Wisdom Publishing Co

[5] Swamisivananda, S. (1994). Kundalini Yoga. Himalayas India: A Divine Life Society Publication. p. xiv-xv.

 

Advertisement

Parenting Preschools: One Change Makes a Huge Difference

posted by Linda Mintle

Preschoolers learn by  imitating others. So is it any wonder that if the average preschooler spends 4.5 hours a day (way to much!) in front of a TV, that the content would teach him or her a thing or two?

A study reported in Pediatrics, looked at 617 families in terms of the impact of TV viewing on preschoolers. Apparently, shows like Veggie Tales  may not only breed a love for vegetables, but other people as well. Here is what they found.

When parents changed the content of what preschoolers were watching away from violence and aggression, the preschoolers’ behavior improved. Not only did they see a decline in aggression and being difficult, but they also saw an improvement in social behavior towards others (empathy, helpfulness, respectful, sharing and concern for others). And the impact of that change remained  6 and 12 months after the changes were made.

Advertisement

Important to note was that parents did not change the amount of TV viewing, only the content.

Remember, the recommendation for hours of TV viewing for preschoolers is less than 2 hours every day. So even though the number of hours watched was too high (a contributor to childhood obesity), changing the content made a difference in behavior.

And low income boys in the study who watched television the most, benefitted the most.

The take aways for parents:

1) Provide children with kind, compassionate role models on TV–do away with aggression and violence and you will see an improvement in behavior.

2) Monitor the hours of TV watched. Even though the study did not decrease the amount of TV, the conclusion is clear–what kids watch influences their behavior and too much screen viewing is linked to childhood obesity.

Parents, this is simple change with huge benefits. Monitor what your children are watching!

Advertisement

Is Your Co-Worker’s Affair Any of Your Business?

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s no secret that Andrew and his co-worker, Renee were having an affair at the office.

What is surprising is that no one seems to care!

According to Vault.com’s 2013 Office Romance Survey, the majority of people surveyed thought that office affairs are no big deal and none of their business. Maybe that is because 56% of those surveyed said they have been involved in office romance and 35% have had an office tryst.

Advertisement

It gets dicier: Almost a third of those surveyed said they had  an office “wife or husband”–meaning, they did not a romantic relationship at work, but had someone in the office with whom they hung out with all the time. Why is this a problem? Because we know that proximity and spending a lot of time together are risk factors for affairs. It’s like playing with fire.

So should we care?

Affairs are about betrayal and secrecy so, yes, we should care. People are always hurt in the end.

And here is the part I find incredible, 76% said that a romantic office relationship did NOT impact their personal or professional relationships with other co-workers. If you are sneaking around, cheating on your partner, blurring the lines of authority, etc., why wouldn’t that spill over to other relationships in the work place? It reminds me of  women who marry cheating men and then expect them to be faithful. If he cheated on you, chances are it will happen again if no changes are made.

Advertisement

Like President Clinton who shook his finger at the camera and told America he did not have sex with that woman, we try to compartmentalize our lives when it comes to office romance. Compartmentalizing is when you put part of your life on one shelf (an affair at the office), another on a different shelf (a family at home) and believe the two shelves will never touch each other. I think we all know how well that eventually works out. Ask the former President. The shelves eventually come crashing down.

In my mind, if you care about a co-worker and know he/she is having an affair, care enough to talk to the person about it. Help the person see that betrayal and secrecy never end well. You might help save a marriage and help avoid a great deal of emotional pain.

Previous Posts

I Spend, She Saves: 6 Tips on What To Do About Money
It's a common scenario, one person in a couple is a spender, the other wants to save. Fighting over money puts strain on even the best relationship. So how do you work through what seems like a major difference in approaching life? The key is ...

posted 6:00:31am Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

When Healing Doesn't Seem to Come
I'm often asked on the radio if I believe that God heals. Yes, I do. I've seen God heal in my own life and the lives of my clients. Let's keep in mind that God heals in many ways. Sometimes it is a supernatural touch, other times he uses doctors ...

posted 6:00:59am Apr. 24, 2015 | read full post »

5 Important Points When Dealing With a High Conflict Person
We all have that person in our lives that drives us crazy and personalizes conflict, making it difficult to handle. Here are five points to keep in mind when dealing with a high conflict person. Choose your battles. Since most ...

posted 6:00:25am Apr. 22, 2015 | read full post »

The Consequences of Holding a Grudge
A grudge involves holding resentment because of some real or imagined wrong. A grudge develops when you don’t like the way a conflict ended. Nursing a grudge can lead to revenge. Consider the story of John the Baptist in Mark 6 of the ...

posted 6:00:42am Apr. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Angry: 7 Steps to Regain Control
Anger is a powerful emotion that needs to be controlled. If you struggle with anger, consider these steps to regain control. Admit that you are out of control. While anger is a normal emotion and not a sin, anger expression can be sinful. If ...

posted 6:00:25am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.